Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gang prevention programs may lose funding

Five Winnipeg groups with mandates to keep kids out of gangs are facing the possibility of shutting down unless they can find new funding.
All have been getting cash through federal grants from the National Crime Prevention Program but the funding will cease in the next year and some say it will put kids back on the street and into the hands of gangs.
"We are now just getting a handle on what's working, what's not working. Unfortunately, we [won't be able to] go further with it to make it work at 100 per cent," said Lionel Houston, who works with aboriginal teens at Circle of Courage, a prevention and intervention program for aboriginal male youth between the ages of 12 and 17.
It costs about $9,000 to put a teen through the program as opposed to $80,000 a year to keep a prisoner in jail, Houston noted.
The groups have written to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews asking for help and got a boost Thursday from Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz, who said he would go to bat for the programs.
"[The gang situation] is a major problem in Winnipeg; a major problem in the city of Winnipeg," he said.
"I've been saying for years we have a gang problem."
Katz had not heard federal funding to the groups was being cut but said he values what they do and doesn't want to see them fold up.
"This is an issue that, and I can assure you … I'll find out exactly what's happening," he said.

I know why their funding is being cut... because the government has decided to waste money imprisoning more people for longer periods! $10 billion! They need to place more emphasis and invest more money in crime prevention programs that address the root causes of crime, such as gang prevention groups. If they cut funding, they are likely to see an increase in gang activity. Prevention programs like this are what will increase public safety, not imprisoning more people. 

So, another case of short term gain (a bit of money saved by cutting programs) over long term pain (cost of prison, the perpetuation of crime and gangs as a viable lifestyle, hundreds or thousands of people hurt by gang activities).

Yeah, really smart.

You really truly want violent gangs to go away then they should combine their energies towards the promotion of the personal freedom over your own body. The reason these violent gangs exist is due to prohibition which limits your personal freedom.

The violent gangs which are primarily fuelled by "drug money" would no longer exist if people had the personal freedom and ability to legally purchase or grow whatever food or medicine that works for them.

Live free. End prohibition. Until then, we will all do EVERYTHING backwards or in a nonsensical way to some extent.

Prohibition is the biggest issue that is preventing positive progress of the human race.

Stop crime at the root and then we wouldn't have to build more prisons! 


Lets "get tough on crime"! Throw 'em in jail...billions for extra prisons to house the miscreants!

...oh...wait...if we get 'em young enough, we might actually save taxpayers millions and billions by attacking the problem where it begins, in CHILDHOOD!

Now maybe, just maybe, these programs were poorly run, or someone was using the money inappropriately. It just seems interesting that the Federal Conservatives announce a multi-billion dollar plan to "get tough on crime" at the same time they cut funding for programs that are designed to cut crime off at the pass. It just doesn't make sense.
So our Conservative government plans to get tough on crime by cutting funding to anti-gang programs?

Yeah, that'll work.

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